Galveston College: A beacon of life-long learning

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One of the first questions clients ask when looking to buy is how are the schools? A question that I look forward to answering because of our rapidly improving GISD schools. I also make sure to point out how fortunate Galveston is to have three institutions of higher learning: Texas A&M, UTMB and Galveston College (GC).

Galveston Texas - Entrance to Galveston CollegeMany folks aren’t as knowledgeable about our community college, GC, even though it was recently named the best community college in Texas! Go Whitecaps!

The college opened its doors in September 1967 as a comprehensive community college. Its purpose then and now is to provide the citizens of Galveston Island and surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs. Or as its mission statement proudly proclaims: “Galveston College, a comprehensive community college committed to teaching and learning, creates accessible learning opportunities to fulfill individual and community needs by providing high-quality educational programs and services.” GC continues to this day to be strongly supported by local citizens who have come to recognize Galveston College as an integral part of the growth and prosperity for the community. It’s a valuable asset for us all.

GC serves an ethnically diverse population of approximately 2,400 students each semester in credit programs and nearly 5,000 individuals annually in continuing education programs. It has proven to be a progressive, dynamic institution of higher education known for its partnerships with businesses and organizations and its commitment to provide a quality learning environment that is student-focused.

Its programs have consistently gained local, state and national acclaim in areas that include health occupations programs, workforce development initiatives, innovative fundraising, culinary arts, special student services and NJCAA athletics. They even have a national championship! The Whitecaps Baseball Team was the 1994 Junior College World series champs.

Many of our leaders today are graduates of Leadership Galveston, and I’m a proud member of the class of 2000.

In addition to the administration and board of regents, what really makes this place special is its award winning innovative program called Universal Access. It was in 1996 the newly formed Galveston College Foundation, created a campaign called Universal Access which proposed to raise $9.3 million to provide free tuition and fees for every local high school graduate to attend Galveston College beginning in 2001. Its purpose was to enhance the human resources of the economically and socially challenged island community.

Because of its success, these scholarships are provided to ensure that every eligible high school graduate, who resides in the Galveston College taxing district, has the opportunity to attend college, receive an associate’s degree, or acquire technical training through a workforce development program and obtain a certificate. This also includes GED Certificate holders as well as those who have completed home schooling. For additional information please visit their website at www.gc.edu.

The opportunity for all of us to have an opportunity to attend an institution of higher learning is a great git and another reason those of us who live by the sea are lucky enough.

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